How To Meet Single Men In Vancouver.. Or Not.
A girl friend and I are strolling by a hole-in-the-brick-wall mysterious venue in Gastown when a tall, not unhandsome guy in retro military gear asks us, “Are you into fetish parties?”
An army green 1940s BMW cafe racer with matching camo sidecar is parked beside this scene with an antique ambulance behind it. A blockbuster-movie-sized photo light is aimed at the MASH ensemble. (I find out later Camo Guy owns the props in this mini movie set.)
I scan the crowd loitering in the drizzling mist outside of the nameless lounge and see similarly attired patrons, several in skin-exposing camo, military boots and brush cuts. The men are just as interesting.
Naturally, we stop to chat.
What’s going on here? We ask, giggling.
Within a few sentences, he tells us about the “military-themed fetish party” and then volunteers to take a photo of my friend on the bike with his iPhone.
I’ll text you the pic, he says. I’m in a happy relationship so I’m not hitting on you, though it’s a good way to get a girl’s number.
It is, I concur and jump at the opportunity for an impromptu interview. So, when you met your sweetheart (I’m in Vancouver, I no longer assume gender persuasion), was it instant attraction or did it take time to build?
Given my new-ish career as a “word slayer, Master Dater, matchmaker” and my old (long-standing) obsession with the ins and outs of intimate relationship dynamics—I’ve interviewed random strangers about their personal lives for years—my confidence is high.
My friend tells him, She’s a dating coach!
Bolstered by my friend’s enthusiasm, I await his reply with a ready arsenal of questions.
He tells us, I met her on Match. (A popular dating site.) Actually, my girlfriend at the time did. She invited her home and we [all] got together. Now I’m with the new girl.
I don’t miss a beat: So it was instant!
Um, no further questions.
Speaking of hearts-a-flutter … I’m in love.
I’m in love with Vancouver. More specifically I’m in love with downtown Vancouver. Even more specifically, I am head-over-sensible-hand-made-heels-in-Eskimo-kisses love with Gastown!
It reminds me of Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach, California. I feel perfectly mis-fitted here, which, if you know me, you know is my quirky comfort zone. I’m even writing this from a hipster espresso shop—naturellement! (That’s French for “naturally.”)
It takes me 20 to 30 minutes to walk from north-west Yaletown to my office (coffee shop) in Gastown. Sunshine or sprinkle, I make the trek several times a week to get my exercise and culture fix and as part of my “visualize it and it will come” self-homework. (Plus, I’m avoiding Silver Fox, who lives in Yaletown. More on that later.)
Gastown is a transitioning neighbourhood.
It has the hipsters, pricy espresso cafes, eco (or not) grunge clothing stores and about a million Zagat-rated foodie havens—OMG, a taste-bud orgasm on every corner—but intertwined with the interracial, multicultural residents are homeless and drug-addicted vagrants that smell of long-marinated urine. (There are so many that I’ve converted to giving quarters instead of dollars lest I run the risk of joining them on a full-time basis—Vancouver is expensive, and I do like single-origin coffee beans, after all.)
On one of my first dates—a real date not a “fake date” (see Wingmam)—my date joined me for the Annual Vancouver Zombie Walk. (We met on a dating site.)
I text him: I’ll be the redhead dressed like a failed zombie.
He gets into the spirit and even permits the young aesthetician at M.A.C. to dab dark powder on his eyelids. This is the first and last time make-up will ever be on my face. My buddies would never let me live it down. (He’s in the construction industry. What a good sport.)
We walk up East Hastings, aka Crack Alley, through the area of “Pigeon Park” where junkies congregate en masse to shoot up and toss their used needles in the street.
Not a single street person asks me for money. Maybe because I resemble the East Hastings tribe with my gaunt-ifying make-up or perhaps they are too whacked out to notice me. The only danger is in being nicked by one of the heroin needles flying freely after use. In case you haven’t been to Pigeon Park, this is not a generalization of all homeless people, just those in this area. (I’m considering this as we pass another needle exchange outlet.)
We survive. And since I don’t get hepatitis A-Z or HIV or heroin-addiction, I consider it a Vancouver cultural success story. Vancouver is fun. Dating is fun. I am fun!
The other evening after a romp down to Nicli Pizzaria (Gastown) for Happy Hour with a couple girl friends (Margarita pizza half price: $6.50! Woohoo! Bottle of OK Falls, BC wine: $47. Oops!), one of my girl friends and I head toward home. We walk past a windowed boardroom of young entrepreneurs in a meeting.
We stop in front of the glass and have an unobstructed view of the sweet, young things displayed inside like bonbons in a French pastry shop. We look at each other with raised eyebrows and Cheshire grins that we both know say, Those look yummy.
Hmmm, we both say out loud at the same time and laugh.
A few of the men notice us hovering, and maybe drooling, on their company logo. This activity interrupts the meeting, and the chairman turns to look at what the distraction is.
I make a goofy face and flail my hands around with uninterpretable gestures, which makes my girl friend burst out laughing. Then we toddle down the street like silly schoolgirls and leave only high-pitched giggles in our wake.
We should stick our business cards to the window, I suggest.
She grins mischievously: What have we got to lose!
Do you have tape?
There’s a drug store!
Should we do this?
I don’t know.
If they have tape, we’ll do it.
And if not, we won’t.
The drug store had tape.
Repeat successive mischief and resultant cardio session as we run away after taping our business cards to the aforementioned window. (Hmm, so far no follow-up calls or emails to hire me for my professional dating advice: WTF?)
Okay, finally, the Silver Fox.
He might have read the blog I wrote about our first encounter (with Barn Goddess) because now he avoids me like I’m an East Hastings crack whore. No offence to any such individuals! In fact, they are better than Silver Fox. They are conscientious enough to thank me for handouts, unlike the lack of gratitude I get from SF for frequenting his place of business with new friends. #badfox
What have I (re-)learned?
You’re never too old to act young.
Acting young is way more fun than being old.
I like being a lone Wolfette. Hashtag: irony
Wolves intimidate foxes.
Some foxes are sensitive creatures.
Continue childlike, not childish, behaviours.
Continue playful, flirt-filled shenANNAgans.
Continue laughing at self.
Continue laughing with others.
Don’t laugh at others; be sensitive to a Fox’s sensitivities. #badwolfette
Oh! And … P.S. people! Ever since my adulthood hometown physiotherapist poked me in the rear (and ear), I haven’t had a single “oopsy” tinkle! Buh-bye bladder lift! Blessed be baby Jesus. (And Michael, my unconventional physio guy.)
P.P.S. If you like this blog please subscribe and/or share! Or at least tell people I don’t pee my pants, anymore!